He is studying for his qualification in Operational Services as part of his apprenticeship programme. He was presented with his certificate and prize at the annual Kingston Maurward prize-giving in early February by college principal, Clare Davison.
Tom started work at Sandford Holiday Park in Dorset in 2010, and although his role has largely been focussed on life-guarding at the busy pool, he has developed many new and valuable skills through his studies, including first aid and customer service.
Assessor Terry Margison describes him as “a likeable lad who has worked hard to complete his studies”. Terry thinks that achieving his Duke of Edinburgh award at Gold level developed Tom’s self confidence and made him an even better communicator than he was before.
Tom has matured into a competent member of the park’s staff and was promoted to Head Lifeguard because of his hard work and dedication to his job. Dan Weiss is Tom’s line manager at Sandford, and comments how much his character has developed since starting work at Parkdean. “Tom stands out from the crowd. He is genuinely one of the cheeriest people I know, and is never shy of offering what is often referred to as a “Croome Smile” which can quite literally light up any room. He is a popular member of the team who is renowned for his sense of humour - that brings joy to our customers and instant morale to the team.”
Jack Clarke, 17, left school at 15 to work on the family farm in Lancaster. After his family moved, he tried his hand at practical jobs such as school caretaking and working in a ground maintenance company before starting work as a trainee engineer at Salop Leisure in Shewsbury.
Soon after starting, Salop Leisure management spied potential in Jack and offered him the opportunity to take an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship in Leisure Operations.
“I don't enjoy class based learning, which is why I decided not to go to College,” Jack says. “With an apprenticeship, I'm gaining hands on experience, qualifications and training as well as earning a wage.”
Jack began his apprenticeship in February 2011 and has now completed his health and safety and first aid certificates as well as manufacturer's product training. He is looking forward to obtaining important gas and electrical qualifications in the future.
“We have a wide variety of repairs coming into the touring caravan workshop and I'm learning all the time. I aspire to be a good engineer and produce work to the highest standards,” Jack says.
Salop Leisure HR administrator Barbara Morris says Jack is one of four apprentices at the company, with the others working in customer service, holiday homes and alongside Jack in touring caravans repairs.
“Apprenticeships provide our staff with the opportunity to gain technical and transferable skills needed for a great start in their careers. It also ensures we have well trained, competent staff to take the business forward. I would encourage all businesses in our industry to consider taking on an apprentice.”
To find out more about Apprenticeships in the sport and active leisure sector please see Apprenticeships
The caravan sector encompasses those who work in the entire supply chain, from the manufacturing of static caravan holiday and park homes, touring caravans and motorhomes, through their sale and service to the holiday and residential parks that they are used on.
In 2008 CITO, as the formal training body for the caravan industry, became part of the SkillsActive to represent our activities for that sector. CITO have been developing and delivering quality, industry specific training since 1989 and continue a close working relationship with the two industry trade associations in order to engage with our sector's employers.
Through SkillsActive, CITO's work is steered by the National Caravan Council (NCC) and the British Home and Holiday Park Association (BH&HPA) on behalf of the industry employers to: